On his sophomore solo release, SHINee’s vocalist Taemin seems to have mastered the art for drama.
It’s an observation that is partly fuelled by the music video for the album’s titular lead single. The choreography has a sort of androgynous artsy quality.
It’s quite spectacular – even when you factor in K-pop’s penchant for bombastic dance spectacle.
Take away the music video though, and Move doesn’t exactly fit the bill of a K-pop bop at first listen. The electronic number takes time to build up to a climax that never quite came.
But the sensual tension – achieved through understated dance elements – makes the track an absolute gem. Where Move is more subdued in its delivery, the following Love is the exact opposite.
Starting off inconspicuously as a ballad, the song culminates to an explosive high with the 24-year-old delivering a high-octane vocal performance.
The majority of the nine-track collection doesn’t quite live up to the brilliance of its lead single though.
Heart Stop, a duet with Red Velvet’s Seulgi, boasts the same low-key dance music as Move. But the track soon ventures into derivative territory with weak synths and beats.
Elsewhere, Crazy 4 U – despite its commendable R&B vibe – is relegated to being a forgettable offering once those sanitised electronic beats kick in.
Taemin manages to find redemption in the powerful chorus of Rise. It’s testament that a controlled vocal performance – coupled with a dash of drama – is all this solo star needs.